Swiss exports booming on back of global upswing
Switzerland's exporters enjoyed a healthy period of growth in the year 2000 as the economic boom in the United States spread to the rest of the world.
A government report on Wednesday said exports should continue to expand this year, albeit at a lower rate.
Gross Domestic Product increased by 3.3 per cent in real terms, the highest rate for 10 years. Exports to Switzerland's most important markets grew by eight per cent.
However, there was a cautionary note to the report as well. It said the recent weakening of the US economy and slower growth in Europe should see a slackening in OECD economies during the current year.
But it said slower forecast growth of 2.3 per cent for the Swiss economy in 2001 might be better for the country's long-term prospects.
The government report said Switzerland's dependence on foreign trade called for the continuation of an active policy to maximise the country's integration in the global economy.
It said it wanted to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to exploit export opportunities and position themselves as competitive business partners in foreign countries.
It said that the network of embassies and consulates should be strengthened to further heighten Switzerland's profile.
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